Hit the Road to Laughs, Love and Compassion at the World Premiere of "Car Talk" at Stageworks

Posted July 16, 2009

Car Talk
By Lucile Lichtblau
Directed by Laura Margolis
Previews: July 22-23, 2009
Opens: July 24, 2009
Closes: August 9, 2009

July 7, 2009 - Stageworks/Hudson will open the world premiere of CAR TALK by Lucile Lichtblau on Friday, July 24. Preview performances are July 22 and 23. CAR TALK runs Wednesdays through Sundays through August 9 at Stageworks' Max and Lillian Katzman Theater, 41 Cross Street, Hudson, New York. The world premiere of CAR TALK is directed by Laura Margolis, artistic director of Stageworks.

Stageworks' 15th Anniversary Season continues in July with a funny, touching look at marriage by Lucile Lichtblau, CAR TALK. CAR TALK originated in Stageworks' annual PLAY BY PLAY Festival of New One-Acts in 2008; but Stageworks and its audience wanted to see more, so Stageworks commissioned Lichtblau to develop it into a full-length play.

"Our mission at Stageworks is simple: to produce dynamic, new world-class theater using the most talented and diverse group of artists we can assemble," commented director Laura Margolis. "Lucile's delightful and poignant new play exemplifies this goal. Not only is CAR TALK a pertinent, clever new piece of writing, but we have assembled a fantastic cast and production team to bring it to life. Its message of understanding, humor and self-discovery fits perfectly into Stageworks' tradition of daring new theater of the highest literary quality."

CAR TALK opens with Millie and Ed, a middle-aged, middle-class Jewish couple who have just learned that their only child, Rosalie, is gay and seriously involved with a taxidermist named Zoe. Ed and Millie take off to visit Rosalie in Vermont to scope out the situation; little do they know that on their journey, they will confront the skeletons in their own closet as Rosalie comes out of hers. At its core, the play skewers our traditional definition of family as it explores love - the type of profound love that makes it possible to cross all boundaries, and the humor that comes along with it.

Lichtblau's plays have been produced in eight of Stageworks' annual PLAY BY PLAY Festivals. "The playwright Tina Howe said, in reference to one of her plays, 'none of it ever happened but all of it is true,'" said Lichtblau. "That's how I feel about CAR TALK."

CAR TALK, as the title suggests, takes place entirely in cars, literally mapping out a journey for the characters. The production is made possible, in part, from a grant from the Ernest O. Reaugh Trust Fund whose support recognizes Stageworks' progressive, sensitive portrayal of gay marriage.

Talk-backs with the cast, director and playwright will occur directly after the performances on July 30 and August 6.

The Stageworks 2009 Mainstage season is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Shubert Foundation.

LUCILE LICHTBLAU (Playwright) Lucile Lichtblau's work has been produced by Vital Theater's "Vital Signs New Work's Festival," the Turnip Theater's 15 Minute Play Festival, Luminous Theatre, Polaris North, the Herring Run Festival and the Estrogenius Festival at Manhattan Theatre Source. Her play, CAR TALK, was originally produced in Stageworks' annual PLAY BY PLAY Festival of New One-Acts in 2008. In the Festival's thirteen year history, Lucile's plays have been produced in eight of them. Also for Stageworks, she recently originated the stage adaptations of the classic Dickens tale titled A CHRISTMAS CAROL, ABRIDGED and RIP, a fun-filled adaptation of Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle." Lucile is a graduate of Yale Drama School, where she received an MCA Playwriting Fellowship.

LAURA MARGOLIS (Director) is the founder and Artistic Director of Stageworks/Hudson. Her directing credits for Stageworks include: FALLING: A WAKE (American premiere), A WEDDING STORY (American premiere), DOG STORIES (World premiere) and many regional premieres such as OMNIUM GATHERUM, LEBENSRAUM, GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL!, BRUTAL IMAGINATION and WIT. Highlighting her career are the plays she has directed for Stageworks' annual PLAY BY PLAY FESTIVAL of original one-acts. Regionally, she has directed at Capital Rep, Proctors, SUNY/Albany, among others. Laura has received the Certificate of Recognition from the Columbia County Board of Supervisors for providing original and creative opportunities to the community and the Columbia County Arts Award for Artist "for excellence in developing and fostering the arts in Columbia County." She attended Brooklyn College's MFA in Arts Administration program and has taught as an adjunct professor of theater at SUNY/Albany.

BONNIE BLACK (Millie) Theatre: Off-Broadway; resident company member of Adrian Hall's Trinity Square Repertory Company; company member of the Alley Theatre and Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival; guest artist roles with regional and stock theatres throughout the country. Television includes: Law & Order-Criminal Intent, Law & Order, recurring on Loving, several soaps and the PBS films The Grimke Sisters and Life Among the Lowly. Recently: Nancy Gordon in THIRD at Riverside Theatre, Alice More in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS at Connecticut Rep, and Camille in RISING WATER at the Vineyard Playhouse.

MELISSA MACLEOD HERION (Rosalie) Theatre credits include: EPITAPH FOR GEORGE DILLON directed by Larry Moss; LUMINOSITY and THE TRAGGDY OF KING RICHARD II (PlayMakers Repertory Company); THE DINING ROOM (Leatherstocking Theater Company); THE LAST ZEPHYER (NY International Fringe Festival); NUNSENSE (Orpheus Theater). Favorite roles include Cassie (A CHORUS LINE); Jackie O (THE HOUSE OF YES); Paulinka (A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY); Speed (TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA). Later this summer Melissa will be seen in MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS with the Theater Barn.

ABBY LEE (Zoe) recently appeared in TALLY'S FOLLY at St. Michael's Playhouse where she has also performed in BARNUM, as Cinderella in INTO THE WOODS, in ALMOST MAINE and in MOONLIGHT IN MAGNOLIAS. Her NYC credits include Maria in WEST SIDE STORY at the Gerald Lynch Theatre, Fan in A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the McCarter Theatre and MONDAY NIGHT'S NEW VOICES at The Duplex. Her regional theater credits include Corrie Bratter in BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, Hermia in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Young Stella in FOLLIES!, Pitti Sing in THE MIKADO, and Nancy in OLIVER. She has appeared in the films "Confessions of a Shopaholic," "Tryptich," and "21 and a Wake-up" (starring Faye Dunaway).

LARRY SHARP (Ed) has appeared Off-Broadway as Harry Hopkins in THE RISE OF DOROTHY HALE and opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Fuller's WE. Film and TV credits: Paul Tierney in "A Gentleman's Game" with Gary Sinise, Franklin Tully in "Homecoming" with Josh Hamilton, Ryan Lambert in "Law and Order: SVU," Van Gelder in "Hack," and Adam in "Out of the Darkness" with Martin Sheen. He was honored to tour with Imogene Coca and Ray Walston in "My Three Angels." Recent Regional Theatre: Atticus in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Walter in CHESS, and Sgt. Toomey in BILOXI BLUES.

Design Team
The design team includes: Randall Parsons (Set Design), Ben Heyman (Sound Design), Frank DenDanto III, (Lighting Design), Brian Massman (Video Design) Janet Sussman (Costume Design), Nick Chiaro (Music Composer) and Phil Elman (Technical Director). The stage manager is Jennifer Schilansky and Assistant Stage Managers are Genée Coreno and Sarah Hankins. The assistant director is Joelle Jameson.

About Stageworks/Hudson
Stageworks has established a reputation for its ambitious programming and adventurous productions. The company is especially known for producing the bold, risk-taking work of new dramatic voices. Central to its vision is Futures, an integrative program designed to move Stageworks to the forefront of new play development. Stageworks is both the experiment and the resource to infuse the whole life of the theater with a creative process that produces new ways of expressing, interpreting and sharing the human experience. Stageworks is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and Perform Columbia. It is the recipient of a Proctors Regional Arts Award inaugurated by Proctors Theatre in 2008 to honor the outstanding work of performing arts organizations. For four consecutive years, Stageworks was distinguished in Metroland Magazine as "Best Theater Company." Stageworks is recipient of the Crystal Apple Award from the Chamber of Commerce for providing a positive effect both culturally and economically on the quality of life in our community.

Plays are for everyone, whether written by students, established authors or emerging dramatists. Theater illuminates, expresses and interprets the human experience and profoundly serves as a global stage for social exchange and enrichment. Stageworks complements its main season with a series of programs to encourage and engage young people, traditional theatergoers and new audiences. Stageworks continues to actively take a leadership role in establishing the Hudson Valley as a cultural destination by exploring and expanding its reputation for developing new theatrical works, forms and programs.

Calendar of Events
Previews: July 22 and 23
Opening: Friday, July 24
Closing: Sunday, August 9
Performance Calendar
Wednesday at 7:30 pm: July 22, July 29, August 5
Thursday at 7:30 pm: July 23, July 30, August 6
Friday at 8:00 pm: July 24, July 31, August 7
Saturday 7:00 pm: July 25
Saturday at 8:00 pm: August 1, August 8
Saturday Matinee at 2:00 pm: August 8
Sunday Matinee at 2:00 pm: July 26, August 2, August 9
Talk Backs with the cast, playwright and directory post-performance: July 30, August 6

Bonnie Black Millie
Melissa Herion Rosalie
Abby Lee Zoe
Larry Sharp Ed

Production Team
Laura Margolis, Director
Frank DenDanto, Lighting Design
Randall Parsons, Set Design
Brian Massman, Video Design
Ben Heyman, Sound Design
Janet Sussman, Costume Design
Nick Chiaro, Music Composer
Phil Elman, Technical Director
Jennifer Schilansky, Stage Manager
Joelle Jameson, Assistant Director
Genée Coreno, Sarah Hankins, Assistant Stage Managers

For tickets or information, contact Stageworks by mail at 41-A Cross Street, Hudson, NY 12534 or call the box office at (518) 822-9667. For further information, visit the website at www.stageworkshudson.org.

Stageworks/Hudson's Mainstage Season Subscriptions are on sale now. Patrons who purchased single tickets to our first production, FORBIDDEN BROADWAY, can still subscribe; call the box office for details. Subscribers receive the Stageworks Dining Card offering special discounts at fine restaurants including: Baba Louie's Pizza, Ca' Mea Ristorante, Carolina House, DA│BA Restaurant, Haley's Indian Restaurant, Lippera's at the Chatham House, Mexican Radio, Pi Café, The Red Dot, Swoon Kitchenbar, Vico Restaurant, and Wasana's Thai Restaurant. Subscribers also receive a Theaters Supporting Theaters Gift Card with special ticket offers.

Subscription upgrades available. Prices for the four-play, Mainstage Subscription season are:
$54 for the Preview series
$72 for the All Shows Limited series
$87 for the All Shows (unlimited) series
$98 for the New Ultimate Flex Pass (4-ticket pass)

Single ticket prices are:
$18 for preview performances
$24 for Weekdays, Matinees and Sundays
$29 for Friday and Saturday evening performances.
Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more and there are special rates for students and seniors.
Visit Stageworks’ home page for more details at www.stageworkshudson.org.

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